Activists blast legislation seeking new limits on medical marijuana

February 23rd, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

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Medical marijuana activists demonstrated at the Capitol today, protesting proposed legislation seeking new restrictions on legally permitted medicinal cannabis.
A rally on the Capitol steps drew about 60 participants. Some held signs reading “Cannabis is my friend” and “Don’t tread on medicine.”
Demonstrators decried a flurry of bills introduced in the 2011 legislative session that seek to narrow participation in the state’s 13-year-old medical marijuana program or enact other changes.
At the forefront of the protest was HB 2982, which received a barrage of criticism from medical marijuana patients and advocates at the rally and during an afternoon hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill would prohibit any Oregonian with a felony drug conviction from possessing a medical marijuana card. It also would require criminal background checks on all exising medical marijuana cardholders, a number that now exceeds 50,000, according to state estimates.
Critics of the legislation said that it would impose unfair extra punishment on convicted felons and cost the state millions of dollars to conduct background checks.
“HB 2982 is designed to punish for a second time people who have already paid their debt to society and who are now sick, disabled and even dying,” said Robert Wolfe, director of the Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative, a coalition of pro-medical-marijuana interest groups.
“It is an expensive, pointless exercise that provides no benefit to the citizens of Oregon, and that creates an unfunded mandate in a time of restricted budgets.”
Medical marijuana

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